China imported a record amount of liquefied natural gas in December as the nation shifted from a coal-powered economy. China’s increasing demand for natural gas as it slows its growth in carbon dioxide emissions opens up economic opportunities for U.S. natural gas producers.
Last year, according to OilPrice.com, China became world’s second largest importer of liquefied natural gas. A desire to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions is a primary factor in China’s shift from coal to natural gas. Also, falling natural gas prices make such a shift economically possible
The United States exported 103 billion cubic feet (bcf) of liquefied natural gas to China last year, up from just 17 bcf in 2016 and no exports before that. U.S. natural gas power has become less expensive than coal power, which has spurred natural gas to overtake coal as America’s leading source of electricity. Exports of inexpensive U.S. natural gas can lead other nations to similarly reduce air pollution, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and lower electricity prices.
A paper published earlier this year by the Spark of Freedom Foundation showed shifting additional U.S. power generation from coal to natural gas will further reduce electricity prices.